What is America (The Canada Edition)
“Anyone who is shocked by what’s happening has not been paying attention.”
I’m writing to you from a ferry somewhere between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, attempting to evade seasickness. My partner, Chris—who I will shamelessly plug as a talented, Emmy-winning freelance video editor— and I have been on a two-week road trip through Maritime Canada as he learns about his Acadian heritage and I live out childhood Anne of Green Gables cosplay dreams and eat my weight in steamed mussels. There’s a hesitation to admit how nice it’s been to take a break, albeit briefly, from the United States. From the 24/7 news, partisanship, and politics that now seemingly infuse every part of life. The progressively angrier lawn signs that dotted our route from Central Massachusetts up through Northern Maine that miraculously ended at the Border Patrol. How the Canadian flag, with its cheery maple leaf, has begun to look like a waving, three-pronged peace sign.
Before we left for the great north, I had the honor of speaking with legendary artist Barbara Kruger for The Guardian to discuss her work, contemporary politics, and the state of women’s reproductive rights in America. While many of us feel entombed in our anxieties, particularly after the recent Roe v Wade repeal, the woman who both defined the aesthetic of modern activist art and famously denounced her imitators as “a ridiculous clusterfuck of totally uncool jokers” has always been a step ahead. “Anyone who is shocked by what’s happening has not been paying attention.”
“Any surprise at the current state of things is the result of a failure of imagination. Of not understanding the force and punishment of what has happened and worse, what is yet to come.” It’s easy to give over to the negative, and I don’t think I’m alone in saying I do it at least once a day. But there are still things you can do. Causes you can support. Direct actions you can take. And, of course, voting like it’s still critical, because it is. You can read the full piece here, but I’ll leave on this quote which I keep turning over.
“More than ever, it’s pivotal to simultaneously engage the contestations around race, gender and class,” she pronounces. “To not separate, silo and hierarchize these issues, but to see the interconnectivity of the forces that determine what it feels like to live another day. To hurt or heal, to nurture or destroy.”
See you on the other side, USA ~
Images:Barbara Kruger at the David Zwirner gallery in New York. Photograph: Maris Hutchinson/David Zwirner
Slow Ghost logo: Tyler Lafreniere
Crave's Pleasure Jewelry is Designed for Sex Positivity
"For the past 14 years, I've focused on shattering the taboo and stigma around female pleasure through design," says Ti Chang, a product designer with two decades of experience crafting everything from bicycles to a line of ouchless hair brushes for Goody, explaining why she seeks to create luxury products that elevate the experience of pleasure. "I think there is a unique experience when people wear pleasure jewelry that is unlike any other pleasure products in that it allows people to openly embrace their desires as an expression of themselves in a subtle yet provocative way, much like fashion." My profile of Ti Chang and Crave jewelry for Core77.
Thank you Matt McCue and The Creative Factor for a delightful discussion on slowly and steadily building a meaningful practice, surviving on rice and beans in NYC, and the stories that drive us forward.
“Exploring life as a woman is inherently surreal: from early childhood, we are pressured to continuously conform, mentally and physically, both subtly through makeup, dress, and feminine code signaling, and more dramatically through childbearing or even plastic surgery. But is transformation a woman's prerogative–a way of escaping into a self-created reality–or does it come from the need to craft an alternate self to fit into the contours of modern society? What does it mean to reject or embrace this created self, consciously?” Check out surrealist group show “A Few Small Nips” at Mrs Gallery this month, and read more about the creative duo behind the space and Going DIY in the Art World (or Any World) here.
Image via Suzi Altman
Saving the art of roadside America.
How an eagle festival in Mongolia is changing the tourism game.
The wild history of the American rollercoaster.
Mussel-ing forward: How architectural studio Bureau de Change and a student at London’s Central Saint Martins are developing bio-glass tiles made of ground-up quagga shells to unclog the city’s water pipes.
Traveling Siberia with the Saami and these delightful reindeer.
Peeking inside Portugal’s centuries-old fish canning industry.
How “Weird Medieval Guys” captured the heart of the internet.
Iris Van Herpen’s stunning cocoa bean haute couture dresses.
For the Birds at BBG, which features more than 30 artist-designed birdhouses and sound installations across the Garden’s 52-acres.
Islands in the Stream:
This Much I Know to Be True, the new music doc starring Nick Cave and Warren Ellis on Mubi.
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Slow Ghost is a newsletter covering creativity now, brought to you by writer and editor Laura Feinstein.